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EU Raps Turkey For Stopping Armenia Conference

23 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The European Commission has called a "provocation" a Turkish court's order to suspend an academic conference on the 1915 massacre of the Ottoman Empire's Armenian population.

A court in Istanbul ordered the suspension on 22 September, a day before the start of the conference.

The EU executive's spokeswoman for enlargement, Krisztina Nagy, said today the timing of the decision and the absence of legal motivations looked like "another provocation" less than two weeks before Ankara starts entry talks with Brussels.

Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn had previously described as a provocation Turkish plans to prosecute novelist Orhan Pamuk. He faces up to three years in jail for backing assertions that Armenians suffered genocide at Turkish hands 90 years ago.